What are your suggestions for a business like mine to succeed?
My business provides a service which I think is essential for businesses in any industry. And I'm not just saying that out of pride. It is in fact, true.
I build solutions, that save my clients time and money by increasing productivity & efficiency, and decreasing waste and cost.The biggest challenge I face is that most business people have no idea about the power of the technology they already own.
I can take trusted and widely used technology, and build on it to create systems and solutions to meet even the most challenging problems faced by SMEs all over the world.
Larger organisations usually have an army of people like me to call upon as and when required. SMEs do not. So now that I am trying to bring these kinds of services to SMEs, the fact they are unaware of the possibilities is the biggest challenge for me.
How would you overcome this if you were in my shoes?
I always simplify issues and work on simple way ...
1. I assume you already identity a huge market + already targeted a specific group.
2. convert your idea into ... key problems you identified -> how you solve it.
3. conceptualize your solution and try to form a solution model or product
4. pitch to your target customers (please be very specific - SME logistic companies for example)
5. record feedback. If people buy ... this means your solution works, else finetune it. - this way of testing is the most fundamental approach to you whether you are selling the correct solution or not.
The above is very straight forward, simple and clearly tell whether people buy your solutions or not.
I see people suggest sharpening your Elevator Pitch.
The Elevator Pitch Creator is a free online tool for doing just that.
Check out my profile for more details.
I suggest you start with educating the pool of target customers for free. Write in magazines and papers they read, blogs etc. You should try to create the image of somebody who knows and can help. Use own case studies and satisfied customers.
Do you have a simple business decision making flowchar template? It is easier to work with SME's if you can show a picture of how you can create value from existing systems .
I believe that you have identified the biggest challenge "they are unaware of the possibilities", so the obvious answer is sometimes best. Educate them about the possibilities so they become aware of it!
There are a million ways to do this but from my experience emailers and animated explanatory videos work well and are very cost efficient. Naturally, your sales teams needs to rock it when picking up the phone but if you add some case studies and numbers to those already strong sales points you mentioned (increasing productivity & efficiency, and decreasing waste and cost), I am sure you would get great results.
Ultimately though, you know your customers much better than any of us so what kind of communication your customers respond to is something you know best from past experience.
Wishing you success, money, and happiness,
Business Success Coach, Entrepreneur, Speaker
Hello Shail. I have worked for many years in this space. There are two things you can do to greatly increase your success and engagement rate. The first is to offer the client an exploration session to determine exactly where their greatest business pain exists.
Be particularly careful to explore based on where these problems area taking them. Another way of looking at it would be to say, "Here are your problems today. If left unchanged, they will develop into these bigger problems." Do not be judgemental or critical, the situation is what it is, but you can certainly magnify the eventualities of not making a change.
In part two, offer your prospects the vision of what their life will be like with the problems solved. Think beyond the obvious for your examples. If they no longer will be spending 20% of their time doing something nonproductive related to the problem, what will they use that time for? It had better be revenue development.
You positioning is based on the transformation you bring to them and secondly what you will enable for them Concentrate on those activities that generate increased revenue and margin for the client. Also make sure that whatever you propose is measurable. I use the term "as evidenced by." This leads to confidence from the prospect that you know what you're doing and you can measure the results. If you currently cannot do this, figure it out before you approach any new prospects.
Finally, be sure to charge a substantial fee. Prospects who have to seriously think about the investment, and associated return, are much more likely to follow through on your recommendations. Of course, you must be able to meet and exceed those expectations. Good luck.
Your challenge would be to completely understand the situational issues those in the SME's most likely to value your offer would have. What are the biggest mistakes they are making as a result of not understanding the power of the technology they own?
All your marketing collateral should answer those mistakes and the implications of not resolving them. Directed blogging that focuses on answering those problems would be a great long term solution to deliver the value they are missing out on and to build your profile. Short term, it would inform your pitch.
Greetings. I provide personal leadership and branding to many industries and work heavily within the software community. Competition is stiff and how you differentiate yourself is essential for securing future growth. I suggest you start with asking yourself the following questions.
1. How can you differentiate yourself?
2. How do you sell (outside of using logic) on an emotional level?
3. How do you create instant rapport and expand relationships with people you have never met before?
4. How do you expand relationships and loyalty with present clients to secure more business?
5. Sell first to the dangers your prospects are facing, rather than discussing how you can help them. Ask "If nothing changes; if your technology stays the same in the future, what would be the dangers your company will face?" or "If we're chatting in a year and you are doing business exactly the same way, what dangers do you believe you will be facing?" or "If your competition is investing in new technology to stay current and provide new capabilities, what dangers would you be concerned about if you didn't wish to make the investment?
Best of luck
The clue is in the question. YOU know that people need it. What you need to do is to talk to as many SMEs as possible in order to establish whether THEY think they need it.
Secondly, is there a clear cost/benefit case for your product or service?
Thirdly, you obviously target IT type people in the large organisations (people like you). Have you honed your proposition to the needs of SMEs that don;t have someone that talks IT speak!
For people to sell anything there is a need to fully understand their client. The SME is an entirely different beast to the large conglomerate.
Finally, don't fall into the trap of many technology skilled people that believe that technology is the answer to life, the world and the universe.
Power of communications, you have to tap, my friend. If you cannot do this, hire someone like me to do it for you.